Your baby starts to communicate from the moment he is born. However, he is still too young to know what he is doing and for the first few months, he will only cry to let you know he is hungry, anxious, or uncomfortable.
As he grows older, the baby will start to communicate through gestures and many other forms of body language. As a new parent, therefore, you must understand your baby body language so you can know what he wants. We thought we could share some of these clues so you could stay on top of things. Ready?
Baby Body Language Every Parent Needs To Learn
Every baby will have his way of saying what he wants. At first, it could be difficult to understand these cues, but as you two continue spending time together, you will be able to tell what your little one wants.
So, “How do you read a baby’s body language,” you may ask? Simple answer – watch him. Here is the most common newborn body language decoded.
Some parents may want to know, “Why do babies kick their legs so much?”
Babies kick their legs when they are happy and excited. Kicking legs in the air is their way of showing that they are having a great time. They could be just excited to see you, their favorite toys, or a feeding bottle if they are hungry.
If the baby is fussy or crying, however, it could be a sign that something is bothering him. It could be a cramped car seat, a dirty diaper, or even stomach acid, so check to see what is bugging him and try to fix it.
Seeing your little one bang his head against the wall or on the floor repeatedly can be alarming. But many babies do this often without appearing to feel any pain.
Headbanging is a common baby body language that infants send when they experience pain or irritability. The rhythmic back and forth motion provides a soothing effect to your little one.
If your baby has been using his head as a drumstick for long spans, however, let your pediatrician know at baby’s next checkup.
If you are a first-time parent, you may wonder, “Why does my baby clench her body?”
Babies clench their bodies, especially their fists when they are hungry. Usually, newborns feed every three to four hours. If you haven’t fed yours and his fists appear tense and clenched, try breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
You can start to look for signs that the baby is hungry every two to two and a half hours in newborns or every four hours in older babies. If your little one completes three months and is still clenching fists, it would be wise to discuss it with the pediatrician.
Does your baby sometimes have these sudden shiver-like movements that often make him seem like he is having a chill? Sudden, jittery movements are normal in newborns and are usually a response to something like noise or just babies’ muscles developing.
So, “What is infant shudder syndrome? Is it a newborn body language,” you may wonder? Infant shudders syndrome a.k.a. shuddering attacks are benign, brief, and quick motor events that occur in babies in the first twelve months of their life. They are not body language but sometimes they can be a sign of anxiety.
Babies will often pull their ears when they discover this part of their body that they never knew existed before. Also, your little one may grab his ears when he is teething especially when the molars are coming in. If your baby cries when he pulls his ears, then it could be a sign of an ear infection.
Join your child in his quest to find his ears. Buy him teething toys to relieve teething pain. And if you are worried about an ear infection, let your pediatrician know.
Infants arch their back when they experience pain or uneasiness. This baby body language is mostly portrayed if the child is suffering from heartburn.
If your little one arches his back when feeding, it could be a sign of reflux or he just doesn’t want to feed any longer. Baby could also arch his back if tired, angry, or frustrated. Help him relax and stop feeding him if he spits up or starts crying.
Turning Head Away
If you are feeding your baby or shaking a rattle and he suddenly turns his face away, that could mean two things; either he is trying to process what is going on around him or he just needs a break.
Just let your baby be for a while. Perhaps he just saw a bug on the floor and is interested to know what it is or he is just fascinated by a sibling who won’t stop shaking his rattles. Once he has satisfied his curiosity, he will give you the attention you seek.
Stretching Out Arms
If you are wondering, “What do baby hand gestures mean?” know that gestures like outstretched arms with wide open hands mean that your little one is in a good mood. But sometimes, this newborn body language could also be a sign that the baby wants you to hold or pick him up.
Both of you should relish this moment. Take baby for a walk at the park or introduce him to new toys on those days when he is in a good mood. It will help his mental growth and development.
My Babies Planet Overview
Learning your newborn’s body language is one of the most important things you need to do as a first-time parent. It not only helps you understand his needs better but also strengthens the bond between you two. The above body cues will help you know what your baby wants. If you are concerned about certain movements, make sure to consult a pediatrician.